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'Survivor's Blues'   

-  Label: 'Mascot Records/Provogue'
-  Genre: 'Rock'

Our Rating:
How this guy is even walking let alone playing like this is beyond me and the same could be said of the rest of the band as well which features Michael Leasure on drums, Johnny Griparic on bass and Skip Edwards on keyboard.

Trout's near death experience a few years back seems to have re-focused him and somehow re-energised him as well. Has he ever played better? Possibly. Has he ever poured so much emotion into his playing? I would wager not. His life seems to depend on it. Check out opener "Me, My Guitar And The Blues" if you don't believe me.

He is also in fine voice throughout charging through the songs with that raspy whiskey soaked (no longer) voice of his. "Woman Don't Lie (feat. Sugaray Rayford)" being a fine example. Walter shreds and rasps voice and guitar simultaneously and that makes for a proper blues record in my opinion.

Essentially this is a covers album but he has studiously avoided the usual culprits in favour of often more obscure or lesser known tracks that he can stamp his flavour on. "Nature's Disappearing" by John Mayall is a good example of the left field choice making, whilst clearing paying respect to his own history and mentors. "Red Sun" is probably my favourite on the album with churning riff and driving toms. I think he means it when he sings, "take me to my grave".

Otis Rush's "It Takes Time" is a rollicking bar room number complete with sawdust. The album finishes on a couple of gems, "God's Word" and Fred McDowell's "Goin' Down To The River" featuring Robby Krieger from The Doors on slide. It's only January, sure, but I already feel there probably won't be a better blues album this year.
  author: Leo Newbiggin

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TROUT, WALTER - Survivor's Blues